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Two New $149 Chromebooks Go On Sale in the US

Two new low-cost Chromebooks have gone on sale in the US priced at just $149 — making them the cheapest Chromebooks released to date.

hisense chromebook 2

The Hisense Chromebook

Made by Chinese companies Haier and Hisense, the two devices feature 11.6-inch LCD displays with HD resolution, are encased in fairly nondescript black plastic bodies and are based around the Rockchip RK3288 processor.

Both Chromebooks are available to pre-order in the United States priced at $149.

What does $149 get you? Let’s take a look.

Hisense Chromebook Specs

Like the ASUS C201, ASUS Chromebook Flip and ASUS Chromebit, the 11.6-inch Hisense Chromebook is based around the Rockchip RK3288 quad-core processor from the Chinese chipmaker of the same name.

Guesstimating the performance of this chip is hard. Rockchip primarily targets the mid-range and low-end sector for tablets, smartphones, and embedded devices.

What is obvious is that this processor is not going to blow older Intel Chromebooks, much less the newer Pixel, out of the water in raw performance. It should be capable enough to meet most casual user and education needs, though.

Inside buyers will find:

  • Rockchip RK3288 Quadcore processor @ 1.8 GHz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 GB eMMC Flash Storage
  • 8.5 hour battery life

On the ports and extras side there is dual-band Wi-Fi (MIMO) with support for the latest ‘ac’ , Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI out and an MicroSD card reader. A 1.3MP webcam rounds things out for those egregious desk selfies.

Featuring a texturised lid and a metal palm rest, the Hiesense device is possibly the more ‘premium’ feeling of the two.

Haier Chromebook 11 Chromebook Specs

Haier Chromebook Side

Haier Chromebook — Side View

The 11.6-inch Haier Chromebook is a little less showy than the Hisense (no texturised lid) but does features the same set of core specifications, albeit with the offer of better battery life.

  • Rockchip RK3288 Quadcore processor @ 1.8 GHz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB eMMC Flash Storage
  • 10 Hour Battery life

On the ports and extras side there is built-in dual-band Wi-Fi (MIMO) with support for the latest ‘ac’ standard, Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI out and an MicroSD card reader. A 1.3MP webcam rounds things out for yet more egregious desk selfies.

So, where’s the difference?

Both the Haier and Hisense Chromebook come with an 11.6-inch wide-screen LED backlit display running at a HD resolution (1366×768). They retail for the same price ($149) and different aesthetically in only minor ways.

The Hisense Chromebook is thinner (0.6-inches thick) but heavier (3.3lbs), and offers a 8.5 hour battery. It is available at Walmart

The Haier Chromebook is thicker (0.71-inches thick) but lighter (2.4lbs) and offers a 10 hour battery. It is available at Amazon US.

  • I could see this dropping to $99 as a sale price fairly frequently.

  • Tanuj

    Hey Joey, what happened to OMG! Ubuntu comments?

    • OMG! Ubuntu users are bad people. Don’t talk to them.

    • They’re accessible through the OMG! Ubuntu! Android app. I’ll be keeping them turned off on the website for a little while, just until the trolls/people who love stopping by to rant about how much the site/me/my writing sucks disband and move on to a new target.

    • ladyofperpetulmotion .

      What is “Ubuntu”?


    I love the look of the Haier. Small is beautiful. I hope that a model with an HD+ IPS panel will be released and with 4 gigs of RAM, the minimum vital for an ARM powered Chromebook.

  • Carson Greene

    “Made by Chinese company’s Haier and Hisense…”

    • Whoops. Fixed.

      (We don’t have an copyeditor anymore so typo catches are appreciated)

      • Carson Greene

        Any time :)

        • ladyofperpetulmotion .


  • JJordan

    Ironically the Walmart website offers to bundle Microsoft Office 365 for a $20 savings.

    • Joshua Clark

      Where is the irony? Office 365 runs fine in Chrome.

  • systemBuilder

    I believe the article is in error and one of these chromebooks runs at 2.0 Ghz, not 1.8 Ghz.

    • It’s confusing, granted. The “point” of today’s press event was in unveiling a swathe of new devices, mostly Chromebooks but including the Chromebit, based on the same processor: the RK3288-C (the -C is because Rockchip say they designed/tweaked it for use in Chromebooks).

      Product specs on retailer websites specifications are often slightly wayward. They may not be in this case, but it seems odd that everything else using the RK3288 is ~1.8 GHz, but that one product, as listed by Walmart, isn’t.

      [Edit: Just checked. Both retailer listings do now read the same: RK3288 @ 1.8GHz. That solves that :) ]

  • tablet_surfer

    Not sure abut these. The Chromebook market is in danger of going the way of the Android tablet market with loads of cheap and poor devices flooding it. What users want are well rounded devices with enough oomph to be a pleasure to use.

    Dumbing down specs to reduce the price is just going to lead people to believe Chrome isn’t a great OS when in fact the OS is fine it’s just not being paired with kit that suits it.

  • Riley Biers

    We really need to stop referring 1366×768 as HD.

    • But it is HD. o.o’

    • Cat Tilley

      Really, I had 1366×768 in like 2008/09, it may be HD, if so, it’s 720p HD, not 1080p.

      The North American market is way behind most of the EU when it comes to tech, 1080p has been the standard there for years. As far as that goes, HD as a whole. It took until the mid-2000’s for the government to force all TV stations into proving HD content, and they were giving away at no cost, analog to HD converters to finish the job.

      The EU had this as early as the late 80’s, with a full scale rollout in the 90’s. No 720p garbage either.

      1366×768 is about as modern as Windows Vista. I wouldn’t purchase a notebook today with those specs, furthermore even on the most expensive of notebooks, inbuilt Webcams are still 720p. On a sub $500 notebook I can see this, but on anything that’s $1,000 or more, consumers deserves an inbuilt 1080p webcam.

      As far as these $149 computers, these will also be garbage, who has ever heard until now of a Rockchip CPU? Sounds like it came from the Flintstone days. The Intel Compute stick will be a better deal.

      A final word, that 16GB SSD is not a true SSD, it’s the eMMC type. So don’t expect 500MB/sec reads & writes. To prevent premature wear, be sure to store as many files as possible to regular Flash drives, or SD/SDHC ones. Better yet, get a real SSD for $50 on promo & clone the system over. If it can’t be installed internally, boot from USB.

      The only thing these cheap devices will do, as noted by a commenter below, is scare away users from the OS. Many will rightfully see it as a 2nd rate OS & garbage can hardware. At best, these may last a child through one year of school. Even Walmart shoppers, one of the places where this will be sold, will see though this attempt to market Chrome.

      If Google is going to do it, do so on real hardware, using Intel or AMD chips with optional nVIDIA graphics.

    • liamdools

      1280×800 I probably wouldn’t mind, it’s at least an actual screen size. But still, nowhere near HD.

  • Josh Davis

    You’d still be better off with a refurbished Acer c720 for the same price.

  • liamdools

    What we need is BETTER devices, not CHEAPER ones. These things are already pretty much dirt cheap, any lower and you wouldn’t have a very good device. What happened to all those midrange Chromebooks like the Series 5? (And don’t say they were to expensive to do well, it’s just nobody liked Chrome OS back in 2011.)

  • JC

    From what I’ve read this CPU/GPU should be capable of 1080p maybe even 4k, where current comparable models with Celeron N2830 (Acer B3 and Asus C200) stutter on 1080p.
    Question is where are they at, I’m ready to try one.

  • ladyofperpetulmotion .

    I would never buy any PC that’s been refurbished. Chromebooks are cheap enough to even think about it.

  • PresidentNick

    Is that a kensington lock slot on the Hair model on the right side?

  • jujuklasek

    im using the hisense now since they lowered the price to 129 at walmart and they actually didn’t have any specs visible except company name not even on the box so a search finding this article was what made me decide to buy it so thanks for that. for basic needs I def can recommend it its pretty fast and where the screen lacks just use the extend to secondary monitor capabilities and that smooths things. But if you’re wanting to use crouton to run unbuntu or other linux forms alongside chromeos the processor slows down quite a bit but I only tested with unbuntu which after downloading packages actually takes up a bit too much memory if wanting to keep on the hard drive and not boot from flash. Maybe one of the lighter distros would run better;

  • wandajohnson.93

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